Monday, January 10, 2011

Remembering the PC

The initial calculations are done, thanks to some help from Excel and no thanks to my flu-fuzzy brain that can't seem to perform simple math, like yesterday when Cheryl and I worked through some ideas for the bathroom mirror, which will be bordered in the smaller tiles and which presents a chicken/egg problem--but I will discuss that later.

Here's my spreadsheet. It reminds me of my days working for a big aerospace company. I was in the IT department, back in the days of mainframe computers, when PCs (personal computers--you don't hear that term very often any more) began to emerge slowly, with their primitive spreadsheets and databases on blue screens and white block letters, long before Windows or mice (or is it mouses?). No email, no Internet. At the time I was the only person in the department to program exclusively for the PCs, so I was pretty much a joke to the mainframe programmers, who considered themselves to be the true professionals, though I wondered if they ever did anything other than drink coffee and smoke cigarettes and stare into space.

At the time, PCs were painfully slow and data needed to be saved onto big floppy plastic disks. The PC network was a nightmare, rarely working, and very, very slow. But I was sure that Microsoft would take over the world. And I tried to convince Cheryl that we should take some money (and, boy, she hates for me to tell this story) and buy Microsoft stock, and we certainly didn't have much money to spare. So we didn't buy it. But had we bought $1,000 in stock in 1989, it would be worth about $250,000 today. I'm just saying.

Anyway. I've sent off for a quote (including the extra 10% of tile, may it rot in the garage), so we'll see about the shipping charges.

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